Welcome back to Daily Kos! Things look a little different here, but while the form has changed, the function hasn't, unless you're looking for some new ways to find the content that's most interesting to you.
This post and the ones that follow will take you through the basics of getting around the site, what some of the new features will mean for you, and how you can find the diaries and the other community members who are most interested in what you care about. There are any number of ways to tap into the vast knowledge bank that is the Daily Kos community.
More on that later. But for now, let's start with the basics, below the fold.
How do I log in?
You still look to the right side of the page, but further up, at the top menu bar.
Click on "Log in" and you'll see a familiar prompt,
except for two things. You can attach your Daily Kos account to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, if you have them. Or not, it's entirely up to you. Note, however, the privacy implications of associating a Twitter or, especially, a Facebook account with your Daily Kos account. If you prefer to be anonymous here, then you might prefer not to associate the accounts.
And just in case you let your browser take care of remembering passwords for you, and have forgotten yours, or worse yet, you don't remember your username, we make it easy. Just click the "Lost your password?" link, and you'll be taken to a new page where you can retrieve account information.
If you've forgotten your username, enter the e-mail address you signed up with originally at Daily Kos, and it will be e-mailed to you.
If you've forgotten your password, you can reset it right here.
If you've forgotten all of these things, including the original e-mail address you used to sign up for Daily Kos, you're probably going to be starting from scratch. Go back up to the top of the main page, and click on the "Sign up" link.
(That will take you to a self-explanatory sign up page, where you can ponder things like "do I really want everyone to know who I am, for real?" and "what if I become famous and am stuck with a really stupid nickname?")
What are all these symbols?
Good question. Here are the ones that matter the most for starting out:
Click the circle with the cross inside following the diary title to put the diary in your hotlist. Click the star next to it to recommend the diary. Click on the heart after the diarist's user name (in this case Angie in WA State) to follow the author (in DK3, we called it "subscribing"). The heart also shows up next to tags. To follow a tag, click on the heart next to it.
How do I navigate this new place?
Here's a quick look around.
The left side of the page
First, the banner and the main navigation menu for the site. This main navigation menu will appear on every page, and from it, you can go to all of the primary elements of the site.
On the left, under the banner main and main navigation menu, you'll see "Community Spotlight." That special space is reserved for the Rescue Rangers. You no longer have to wait until the late hours of the evening to read "Diary Rescue" because it's there all day, being updated in real time as the Rescue Rangers find the cream of the crop in the day's diaries.
Directly below the Community Spotlight are the main page stories from the site's contributing editors and Markos.
To the right of the Community Spotlight is the completely new Feature box. Watch that rotating space for breaking news, links to must read diaries, and special events like live-blogging with activists and policy-makers.
Ok, back on the left, that's where the main page stories begin. As you scroll all the way down, past the main page stories, you'll see new features that provide easy access to even more content.
The Table of Contents will link you directly to key content both at Daily Kos and at the DK network of blogs, Mother Talkers, Street Prophets, Congress Matters, and DKtv.
The tag menu has top level most-used tags, linked to the diaries and stories for that issue or topic, like civil rights, environment, healthcare, or transportation. Click on one of those tags, and you'll see the full list of diaries in that topic.
The right side of the page
Head back up to the top of the page, and make sure you're logged in. Look below the Feature Box and you'll see your Profile.
From here you can write a new diary, or look at your Diaries page, see if someone has sent you a message (more on messages in the New Features tutorial), and link to your Stream (again, more on that in New Features), your Comments page.
Below your Profile box is a familiar sight--the recommended diary list.
Underneath the recommended diary list, is the Recently Recommended diaries list.
A note about this new nomenclature, and how diaries work.
To reach the Recently Recommended diary list, a diary has to get the recommendation of one trusted user on the site. This will help make sure that diaries of some substance reach the front page, and that the two-line, throw-way diaries and trollish rants are passed over.
Can I still see all the recent diaries?
Yes, you can see every diary posted to the site from the "Diaries" link on the main navigation menu. This menu appears on every page, so you can always find home, find your page, and find the diaries. But you will also find new diaries from the writers, groups, and tags that you follow. New diaries will also appear in the Streams of their followers as they are published.
Finally, the last element on the right hand side of the page is the "Hot Tags" box.
This will tell you at a glance what the majority of diarists on the site are writing about on any given day, with the most-used tags listed in order. The tag names are linked to the page for that tag. Click that link, and you'll find some basic background information on the topic and all of the diaries that have been tagged with it. You can sort that in a variety of ways, including by time, by authors, and by number of recommendations.
How do I get home again?
There are numerous options for getting back to the main page of Daily Kos. If you're still down there at the bottom of the page, simply click on the Daily Kos link in this menu.
Now that you're back at the top of the page, you'll see the main menus that will appear on every single page, which can always bring you back home.
Where ever you are in the site, you can click on "Daily Kos" up in the left hand corner of the orange bar at the very top of the page, or on "Home" in the main menu below the banner.
Now you know how to log in and find your way around the front page. The next tutorial will go through how to do some of the key things you want to do: how to manage your account and interact with the community.